The Armenians of Artsakh are victims of the Azerbaijani blockade

The Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor, the only access route between Armenia and Artsakh since Baku’s military victory in 2020, has been blocked near Shushi since the morning of December 12 by several dozen Azerbaijanis protesting against the “illegal exploitation of minerals” by Artsakh Armenians.

Although legitimate at first sight, the environmental prejudices poorly conceal President Ilham Aliyev’s plan to exert maximum pressure on Yerevan by means of the blockade. Azerbaijan has been demanding for two years that Armenia concede a so-called “Meghri Corridor” or “Zangezur Corridor”, connecting Baku to the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhitchevan, wedged between Armenian territory and Iran, which is, at its northern end, connected by a road to Turkey.

Baku maintains excellent relations with Ankara, its main military and diplomatic support. Turkey arms and trains the Azerbaijani army, under a military cooperation agreement signed in 2010. In September, this cooperation was reinforced by the appointment of Turkish General Bahtiar Ersai as an adviser to the Azerbaijani Minister of Defence, Zakir Hasanov. Baku and Ankara want to strengthen their economic relations through a land route. The two countries have strained relations with Tehran and abysmal relations with Yerevan, while the latter two oppose the creation of a Turkish-Azerbaijani corridor, especially if it is accompanied by a loss of Armenian sovereignty on its border with Iran.

Armenia has only two open borders, one to the north with Georgia, and the other to the south with Iran, a country with which trade relations have developed considerably in recent years. Yerevan notably buys Iranian gas, which it pays for by supplying electricity to the Islamic Republic.


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